9.11.16

ministry of reconciliation

I guess I'd start with the fact that humanity for some reason has always been pretty messed up.

Sometime in history, though, God came to earth as a man. The reason he came was to undo the man we’d become. The reason God came to earth as a man was to transform broken humanity through blood, sweat, and tears. God as man plowed through the destruction of our humanity and re-made man: reconciled man to himself.

God's birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension as man was not simply an event in history that apparently means salvation but has no real effect on our lives. His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension was this: the restoration of humanity to its true self. Through the life of God as man, humanity's brokenness has been un-done.

But it doesn't seem undone, does it? We seem worse than ever. Did God actually do something relevant to now? Did it change anything for now, or just for some vague notion of the future, of 'heaven', of making us good enough to go there should we recognise the opportunity and really not want to go to a place called hell?

Good news: God's human birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension is entirely relevant to now. His death involved the destruction of the brokenness of man.  How can someone's death result in the destruction of something so invasive as brokenness? How can death break brokenness? The destruction of brokenness occurred because day by day in his human life, God as man refused to give in to our brokenness. He re-made humanity through re-creating man in his own life. In restoring humanity through his human life, God's human death birthed humanity all over again.

In being born again through the death of God's human life, we have literally been raised to an entirely new self: we have received an entirely new identity. The people we are because of God's human birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension is exactly who we were created to be. Humanity has been given its true identity. Our true identity is the human life of God.

Then why do we seem the same? Why does it seem that none of us have changed? The sad truth is this: most of us are blind to who we are. We believe lies about ourselves. We see ourselves as unloved, unaccepted, unapproved. We do not see ourselves as we truly are. We are blind to our true identity.

The human birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of God is the story of our adoption into the family of God. It is the story of God reconciling us to himself. It is us literally receiving the identity of the human life of God. The human life of God knew who he was, and where he was going. The human life of God was entirely loved, entirely accepted, and entirely approved by the family of God. The human life of God did not want any glory from a person, because the human life of God knew that he was glorified by the family of God.

God human identified himself as he truly was. When we fail to identify ourselves as we truly are, we believe that we are "not", and therefore strive to become. Relationships, work, play, fame and religion become our mission to create an identity for ourselves that involves meaning, significance and glory. The deeper we are entrenched in the development of our legends and inventions, the further we are distanced from the truth of who we really are, of the glory that is already surrounding us, of the life that is friendship, meaning, and full. 

When we know our true selves, our relations with people, work, play, fame and religion change. Like the human life of God, Jesus -- we know ourselves as entirely loved, accepted, and approved by the family of God. Our engaging with people and creation becomes about seeing and making known to humanity who they truly are -- entirely loved, accepted and approved by the family of God, the family they've been adopted into by the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of the human life of God -- Jesus Christ.


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